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If a newly hatched orchid mantis isn’t both quick and cunning, it’s likely to end up an easy lunch for a larger predator. And since orchid mantises are unfussy carnivores that aren’t above cannibalism, even members of their own species pose an imminent threat. In this excerpt from BBC’s Life Story series, a newborn mantis must employ some spectacular inborn self-defence skills against a hungry jumping spider if it wants to survive its first day.
Narrator: David Attenborough
The key to geckos’ unrivalled climbing skills isn’t sticky feet. It’s subatomic
Technology and the self
Greetings from Green Bank – the small town where modern technology is banned
Far from frivolous, cuteness is a powerful – and still mysterious – force of nature
Dance and theatre
How a Noh mask-maker summons a lifelike face from a single block of wood
The ancient world
What wine vessels reveal about politics and luxury in ancient Athens and Persia
David Goldblatt captured the contradictions of apartheid in stark black and white
In the search for life, might alien ocean worlds be a better bet than Earth-like planets?
Thinkers and theories
Is simulation theory a way to shirk responsibility for the world we’ve created?
A dazzling slice-by-slice exploration of wood exposes hidden patterns and hues